Fabrication Lab | Science North

Fabrication Lab

START CREATING

fab lab

The Fabrication Lab is an innovative, collaborative space that lives on the 4th floor of the science centre. We offer:

  • Training sessions for YOU to learn how to use a range of equipment – from laser cutters and 3D printers to T-shirt presses, vacuum formers, waterjet cutters…and more!
  • Workshops to give you inspiration for your next project
  • Drop-in sessions where you can book a time to create your own projects with Bluecoat support

FAB LAB BADGE PROGRAM

EARN A BADGE AND START CREATING!

  • Successfully complete a training session on a piece of equipment to earn your badge
  • Once you have a badge, you are able to book that equipment for your own projects
  • Visit the Fab Lab during your booking and you’ll be able to start creating all on your own! A Bluecoat will be present for support
     

BOOK TRAINING SESSION


PRICING

Training sessions and workshops are included in the cost of admission to Science North. There is no additional cost for Science North members.


HOURS

Tuesdays2PM–4PM
Thursdays2PM–4PM
Saturdays10AM–3:30PM
Sundays10AM–3:30PM

* Note: Visitors are able to visit the Fab Lab during our opening hours, to tour and talk to available Bluecoats; the drop-in hours above are ones that we are intentionally setting aside as “office hours” to support visitor projects.


AVAILABLE EQUIPMENT

LASER CUTTER

MODEL: Epilog Mini 24 40W

Use this machine to:

  • Etch, engrave, and/or cut a wide range of materials with great precision
  • Personalize items with engravings, such as metal and glass water bottles, notebooks, and more
3D PRINTERS (2)

MODEL: Fusion3

Use this machine to:

  • Create plastic objects
  • Ideal for small objects or fast prototyping
RESIN 3D PRINTER

MODEL: Form2

Use this machine to:

  • Create high resolution solid plastic objects
  • Great for prototyping or for finished products
VINYL CUTTER

MODEL: Silhouette Cameo 2

Use this machine to:

  • Use a blade to cut over 100 materials, including paper, cardstock, vinyl, and fabric up to 12 inches wide
  • Cut out personalized stickers, stencils, heat transfer vinyl designs, and more
T-SHIRT PRESS

MODEL: Hotronix Auto Open Heat Press

Use this machine to:

  • Use heat to bond heat transfer vinyl and other heat transfer materials to fabric
  • Create personalized T-shirts, tote bags, and more
SOLDERING IRONS

Use this machine to:

  • Bond small metal components together
  • Build electronic circuits

COMING SOON

CNC

MODEL: Shapeoko 3

Use this machine to:

  • Carve 2D and 3D shapes from a range of materials: wood, plastic, and aluminum are no problem
VACUUM FORMERS (2)

MODEL: Mayku Formbox

Use this equipment to:

WATERJET CUTTER

MODEL: Wazer

Use this machine to:

  • Cut materials with high precision using high-pressure water
KNITTING MACHINE

MODEL: Kniterate

Use this machine to: 

  • Generate a knit product using a digital pattern design

AVAILABLE TRAINING SESSIONS AND WORKSHOPS

WORKSHOP — Make a Pepakura Halloween Mask

EVERY SATURDAY and SUNDAY in OCTOBER

Maximum of 10 people
1:30PM — 3:30PM

Pepakura is an online platform that lets you transform 3D object files into flattened pieces that can be cut by a laser cutter (that you can reassemble into 3D shapes). In this workshop, you will choose a pre-made 3D file and we will help you convert the file and cut it out on the laser cutter. You can assemble your mask on-site or take the pieces with you to build at home. 

This workshop is for visitors ages 13+ and is suitable for absolute beginners. 

We will provide materials (cardboard, cardstock, paper, hot glue), but if you have a material that you would prefer to use, feel free to bring it in (subject to approval for use in the laser cutter).

If you already have a mask design in mind, feel free to bring that 3D file in as well on a USB. File type should be .STL and should ideally contain fewer than 200 facets.


TRAINING SESSION — Intro to 3D Printing

OCTOBER 26 and 27
NOVEMBER 2 and 3

Session Length: 2 hours 
Maximum of 5 people
10:30AM — 12:30PM

Learn how to prepare 3D designs in tinkerCAD. Learn how to safely work with Extrusion-style 3D printers, including loading and changing filament; working with infills, supports, and rafts, working with different plastics and materials, and troubleshooting common issues.


TRAINING SESSION — Intro to Laser Cutting

NOVEMBER 16 and 17

Session Length: 2 hours
Maximum of 5 people
10:30AM – 12:30PM

Learn how to prepare your own vector graphic design file in Inkscape and Corel Draw 7 and set up the laser cutter for safe and optimal cutting from start to finish. We will learn about what kinds of projects can be completed on the laser cutter and how to use this amazing technology safely.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS THE MINIMUM AGE REQUIREMENT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FABRICATION LAB BADGE PROGRAM?

The minimum age requirement to participate in the Fabrication Lab Badge Program is 13 years. For safety reasons, some equipment (e.g., the WAZER waterjet cutter may have additional restrictions, including age restrictions). Please visit our equipment booking page for more information or contact prototype [at] sciencenorth.ca ().

WHAT IS THE COST FOR THE TRAINING?

Training is included in the cost of admission to Science North. There is no additional cost for Science North members. 

HOW LONG DOES EACH TRAINING SESSION TAKE?

Each training session includes learning how to design for and safely use a piece of equipment, and ends with you receiving the item that you fabricated during the session. You can expect most equipment to require 2-3 hours of training. Refresher training sessions are typically 30 minutes long.

HOW DO I BOOK MY TRAINING SESSIONS?

You can reserve your spot for a training session at https://sciencenorth.libcal.com/calendar/fablab/

HOW DO I RESERVE THE EQUIPMENT I WANT TO USE?

You can reserve equipment at https://sciencenorth.libcal.com/equipment. Please note that you will not be permitted to use the equipment without first completing applicable training.

WHEN CAN I USE THE MACHINES?

Equipment in the Fab Lab may be booked on:

  • Tuesdays: 2PM — 4PM
  • Thursdays: 2PM — 4PM
  • Saturdays: 10AM — 3:30PM
  • Sundays: 10AM — 3:30PM

Please contact prototype [at] sciencenorth.ca if you are looking to accommodate different hours for your project.

CAN I USE THE MACHINES BY MYSELF?

If you have successfully completed training on a piece of equipment, then you can reserve and use that equipment by yourself. A Bluecoat will be present for support.

DOES MY BADGE EXPIRE? IF SO, WHEN?

Like any skill, using fabrication equipment requires practice. If you do not visit the Fab Lab within 30 days of earning your training badge, you will be required to take a 30-minute refresher course to ensure your safety when using the equipment. 

Visitors who have not used a badge for 3 months will be considered lapsed and will also require a 30-minute refresher course.

WHEN WILL OTHER BADGES BECOME AVAILABLE?

Our initial badge offerings will be for the 3D printers and the laser cutter, our most popular fabrication equipment. More badges will be offered as our program grows.

DOES SCIENCE NORTH SUPPLY MATERIALS?

Science North will supply basic free materials for our equipment and we keep a good variety of materials in stock. 

If you have a project in mind that requires special materials, we invite you to bring in those materials yourself. All materials are subject to Bluecoat approval for use in our equipment.

HOW MANY SEATS ARE AVAILABLE?

Space is limited in the Fab Lab. As such we cannot have more than 5 visitors (plus 1 Bluecoat) using equipment at the same time. 

Workshops and training sessions are limited to 10 seats.

WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM TIME I CAN SPEND IN THE FAB LAB?

Bookings are limited to 2-hour blocks. If you have a project that requires longer work sessions, contact prototype [at] sciencenorth.ca () and we will do our best to accommodate a suitable schedule.

CAN I BOOK THE FABRICATION LAB FOR A GROUP OF PEOPLE?

You can book the Fabrication Lab for a group of people, but only people who have received training may work with the equipment. 

Please note that the Fabrication Lab can only accommodate 5 people at a time.
 
For your safety, Science North reserves the right to turn away unexpected visitors who exceed the Fabrication Lab room capacity.

CAN I STORE MY SUPPLIES / PROJECT AT SCIENCE NORTH?

Science North cannot provide on-site storage space for your project or supplies.

Stay in Touch

Receive news about Science North, exhibitions, events, and more.